28 September—6:30 pm
Throughout the duration of the exhibition of Forensic Architecture “Violence, Fast and Slow” we will be hosting a series of lectures and discussions. The first of three discursive public events to take place is the symposium and round table on the 28th of September. Forensic Architecture (Stefanos Levidis and Christina Varvia), Angela Dimitrakaki and Gene Ray will discuss new forms of violence through the re-emergence of fascist and xenophobic rhetorics, producing a newfound authoritarianism performed by elected governments and citizens alike.
The day is co-organised with Antifascist Culture, a collective of cultural workers from Athens.
Known in Greece for their investigations on the killings of Pavlos Fyssas and Zak/Zackie Kostopoulos, Forensic Architecture will begin this series of discussions by presenting the investigations as two examples of fast violence that are now important parts of Greece’s sociopolitical reality, analysing the investigations and processes of the cases.
In collaboration with the collective Antifascist Culture, the second part of the discussion, with theorist Angela Dimitrakaki and critical theorist Gene Ray, will discuss in two joint presentations, how the fundamental fascist premise advocating the existence of internal and external enemies operates today, and how it contributes to the gradual normalisation of fascist thought.
Dimitrakaki will focus on the ideological construct of an ‘internal enemy’, both in general terms but also with regard to the discourse of the new populist Right in Greece and elsewhere. Ray will consider the external context of crisis and ruling class emergency, locating resurgent fascism within contemporary imperialism and planetary meltdown. The two complementary talks depart from liberal discussion on fascism, that is focused principally on hate crimes that seemingly emerge from ‘below’. Dimitrakaki and Ray ask how we can understand fascism from ‘above’ – that is, how fascist premises work for the dominant classes in terms of pre-emptive counter-revolution, and social control.
The presentations will be followed by a discussion with the audience.
18.30 Introduction iLiana Fokianaki (in Greek)
18.40 Stefanos Levidis & Christina Varvia (F.A., in English)
19.00 Angela Dimitrakaki (in Greek)
19.20 Gene Ray (in English)
19.50 Discussion with the panelists (in English)
20.15 Q&A with audience (in both Greek and English)
Angela Dimitrakaki is a novelist, art historian and member of Antifascist Culture, a cultural workers initiative founded in Athens in 2018. Both her scholarly and literary work focus on the world of global capital since the 1990s and the political subjects it instantiates. Her academic books include Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative (English, 2013), Art and Globalisation (Greek, 2013) and the co-edited volumes Economy (English, 2015) and Politics in a Glass Case (English, 2013). In 2017, she he co-edited the special issue of Third Text on Social Reproduction and Art, and in 2019 on Anti-fascism/art/theory. In 2016, she co-edited the special issue of Historical Materialism on Social Reproduction, while she is a co-organiser of the Marxist feminist stream of the journal’s annual London conference. In 2017, she received an Academy of Athens Award for her fiction. She teaches at the University of Edinburgh and lectures widely in Europe. She lives in Edinburgh and Athens.
Stefanos Levidis is a project coordinator at Forensic Architecture, London. Stefanos has studied and taught architecture in London and Barcelona. He worked in architecture offices in Athens, Berlin, and Sicily, before joining the Forensic Architecture team in London in 2016, where he acts as field coordinator for Greece since 2018. Stefanos is also pursuing his PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University, where he develops his thesis entitled ‘Border Ecologies’, focusing on the entanglement of law and nature at the external borders of Europe. His individual spatial and visual practice operates between theory, critical imaging and activism and has been applied in the field and exhibited internationally.
Gene Ray is Associate Professor in the CCC Research-based Master Program at HEAD-Genève/Geneva School of Art and Design. He was Project Director of the collective research project The Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva (2016-2018) and is the author of Terror and the Sublime in Art and Critical Theory (2005, 2011), editor of Joseph Beuys: Mapping the Legacy, and co-editor of Art and Contemporary Critical Practice (2009) and Critique of Creativity (2011). He wass guest-editor, with Gregory Sholette, of the Third Text special issue on tactical media (2008). His work has appeared in South as a State of Mind, Third Text, Brumaria, Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, Left Curve, Historical Materialism, and Yale Journal of Criticism, and in edited volumes including Rasheed Araeen (Van Abbemuseum, 2018), Documenta 14 Daybook (2017), Camera Atomica (Art Gallery of Ontario/Black Dog Press, 2015), Handbook of Cultural Sociology (Routledge, 2010), and The Sublime (Whitechapel/MIT, 2010).
Christina Varvia is deputy director at Forensic Architecture where she coordinates projects, assembles teams, oversees research and the development of new methodologies.She studied Architecture at the University of Westminster (RIBA Part I) and the Architectural Association (AA; RIBA Part II). Her previous research involves studies in digital media and memory, as well as the perception of the physical environment through scanning and imaging technologies – research that she deploys through time-based media. Christina is currently teaching as a Unit Master for Diploma Unit 3 at the AA. She is also a member of the Technology Advisory Board for the International Criminal Court.